Shahi qila Jaunpur


Shahi qila or Shahi fort or Karar Fort or Jaunpur fort is a 14th-century fort in Jaunpur, Uttar Pradesh, India. Close to the bridge, on the banks of Gomti, is the fort, built in 1360 by Sultan Firoz Shah Tughlaq with materials brought in from the palace and temples of the Rathore kings of Kannauj. With the advent of Sharqis, the fortifications were further strengthened and numerous royal edifices added, but only to be reduced to rubble by the Lodis a century later. Mughal emperors Humayun and Akbar recreated the fort after extensive repairs. Much later it was acquired by the British and once again damaged during the first war of independence in 1857, and a few years later the English blew off its 40-pillared Chil Sitoon.

Shahi qila is one of the chief tourist attractions in Jaunpur. The mosque bears the evidences of the times in which it was built. The Atala Masjid is a useful specimen of mosques, not only in Uttar Pradesh but also in India.

Location of Shahi qila
2.2 km north-northeast of Jaunpur, 7.3 km northwest of Zafarabad, 16.8 km north-northeast of Mariahu, 26.3 km west-northwest of Kirākat.

Architecture of  Shahi qila
The fortification wall forms an irregular quadrangle with main gate towards east. Another exit in the shape of a sally port towards west is approached by a steep passage cut through the mound. The main gateway is about fourteen metres in height and some five metres in depth having usual chambers on either side. During the reign of Akbar, in order to provide extra security, Munim Khan added a courtyard in front of the eastern gateway with another eleven metres high entrance gate. The gates, walls and the bastions are veneered with ashlar stones on outer face.

One remarkable structure locally called Bhoolbhulaiya is a perfect model of Turkish bath or Hammam. This solid structure is partly underground having arrangements of inlet and outlet channels, hot and cold water and other toilet needs.

The mosque within the fort constructed in typical Bengal style is a narrow building about 39.40 x 6.65 metres having three low domes. A twelve metres high pillar bears a long Persian inscription recording the erection of mosque in 1376 by Ibrahim Naib Barbak. Another monolithic curious inscription placed in front of the outer gate, appealing all Hindu and Muslim Kotwalls of the fort to continue the allowances, possibly to the descendants of the Sharqis is quite interesting. It is dated to 1766 under the order of Saiyid Ali Munir Khan, the then governor of the fort on behalf of the Nawab Wazir of Oudh.

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